In 2020, two years after founding the wildly popular sex-and-dating podcast Call Her Daddy, Alexandra Cooper and her cohost, Sofia Franklyn, went through a public breakup over intellectual property. Cooper came out victorious, striking a deal with Barstool Sports, which agreed to give her full IP rights if she’d do the podcast solo with Barstool for one year. She left Barstool this past summer after landing a three-year licensing agreement with Spotify reportedly worth north of $60 million, making her one of America’s highest-paid female podcasters. “I didn’t go to business school,” Cooper says. “I didn’t know any of this stuff, trademarks and the importance of the IP.” But she knows now. Today, millions of listeners tune in to a more mature version of the podcast, which focuses on mental health with guests such as Miley Cyrus, Chelsea Handler and Tiffany Haddish.

We published the first edition of the Forbes 30 Under 30 a decade ago, with one clear goal: to identify the new guard, the young innovators, trailblazers and disruptors remaking our world. That first list featured names like Kevin Systrom, whose company Instagram had only seven employees; Lena Dunham, who had yet to debut on HBO’s Girls; Daniel Ek, who had just launched Spotify in the U.S.; journalist Ronan Farrow, years before he exposed Harvey Weinstein in the New Yorker; and actor Donald Glover, then mostly known as a cast member in the cult comedy Community.

Much of 2022 was being freshly created by this group back in 2012. Ten years from today, it’s a good bet we’ll all be living in a new world being imagined today by the 600 entrepreneurs, innovators and entertainers that make up our 10th Anniversary class.

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Call Her Daddy’s Alexandra Cooper: The Forbes Interview | Forbes